Kentucky first to win federal OK to roll back Medicaid expansion

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Calling it an "exciting day," Gov. Matt Bevin on Friday said federal authorities have given Kentucky broad power to reshape its Medicaid program, making it the first state in the nation to win such approval under rules that allow states to include work requirements for some recipients.

"I am excited by the fact that Kentucky will now lead the nation," Bevin said at a news conference at the Capitol Rotunda. "We're ready to show America how this can and will be done."

The news was released Friday by Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., just minutes before Bevin's announcement. Yarmuth called the move "dangerous and irresponsible," saying it will cause tens of thousands of Kentuckians to lose health coverage.

But Bevin dismissed such comments and said the plan will transform Medicaid.

"It will be a model for the nation," he said.

More: Trump administration opens the way for a Medicaid work requirement

More: Crippling Medicaid cuts could upend rural health services

But advocacy groups disagreed, including Kentucky Voices for Health, a coalition of health organizations that had opposed the changes as unnecessary and harmful to low-income people who rely on Medicaid for health care.  Read More

Posted: January 16, 2018